Anonymous has launched a broad-ranging campaign in support of Wikileaks, starting with a DDoS assault on a PayPal website.
The denial of service attack lasted for eight hours and resulted in numerous service disruptions, Panda Security reports.
The group, spawned from anarchic message board 4chan, first came to prominence with a long running campaign against the church of Scientology, its beef with the Hubbard faithful centering on their attempts to censor content from the net.
PayPal's decision to stop processing donations for Wikileaks following its controversial publication of US diplomatic cables as well as the withdrawal of hosting services by Amazon are seen on 4chan and elsewhere as attempts to censor the whistle-blowing site, a development Anonymous intends to oppose. It said on its website:
While we don’t have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the same reasons. We want transparency and we counter censorship. The attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long strides closer to a world where we can not say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas.
We can not let this happen. This is why our intention is to find out who is responsible for this failed attempt at censorship. This is why we intend to utilize our resources to raise awareness, attack those against and support those who are helping lead our world to freedom and democracy.
Operation Avenge Assange will incorporate a combination of political lobbying (writing to MPs etc), a consumer boycott of PayPal as well as practical support (mirroring) and advocacy for Wikileaks. The traditional denial of service attacks will also come into play with an assault against the ThePayPalblog.com. ®